Posts Subscribe comment Comments

Saturday, September 10, 2005

SWISS BANKS RETURN STOLEN $290 MILLION TO NIGERIA



The good news that banks in Switzerland have agreed to return over $290 Million stolen by the late dictator Gen.Sani Abacha is even better than the fake debt relief that the President of Nigeria said that he has secured from the Paris Club. But, before we start going to Abuja to shake the hand of President Olusegun Obasanjo to commend his laudable efforts, may we ask him to ask for the other loot still saved in Swiss banks and other foreign banks by the present corrupt rulers in Nigeria. All the governors and their proxies, ministers and their proxies, legislators and their proxies and rogues in government who are still unrepentant and are looting our national treasury through their white elephant projects. All these looters must be made to return their own stolen millions of dollars.

Any dummy will know that most of them are operating various foreign bank accounts in the names of their proxies or under their secret identity and also using the loot to purchase mansions in America and Europe like the case of the Vice President of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has one of his wives in the US acting as his partner in crime. Until, they are all brought to justice, Nigeria will not be safe for those who believe in honesty, probity and equity.Because, if we don't get rid of the wicked in our midst, the wicked will get rid of us. As we have already said earlier, a thief is a thief from stealing $1 to $1,000,000.

The Swiss banks must return the remaining money and other millions of dollars stolen by the other Nigerians, dead or alive.

Swiss to return $290m 'state funds' to Nigeria
from late dictator's accounts

By Balz Bruppacher, AP writer, in Berne
Published: 10 September 2005

Banks in Switzerland have been told to start returning to Nigeria $290m (£158m) in funds seized from accounts linked to the late dictator Sani Abacha.

"The transfer became possible with the signing of an agreement with the World Bank to monitor Nigeria's use of the funds," said Livio Zanolari, a spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry.

The $290m was to be paid immediately to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Mr Zanolari said. The international bank will then credit it to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A second instalment of $170m will be made when assets have been converted to cash, said Mr Zanolari, but he said he did not know how long that would take. That second instalment will complete the payment of all the funds found in Switzerland, he said.

The money has been frozen in Swiss banks since 1999. The Swiss supreme court gave a green light for the return last February when it rejected an appeal by the Abacha family.

But the Swiss cabinet said it wanted the World Bank's involvement organised first to guarantee the money would go toward development projects in areas such as health, education and infrastructure, as promised by Nigeria.

The agreement with the World Bank has now been signed, Mr Zanolari said.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigarian President, accused Switzerland in May last year of stalling on the return of the funds, but Swiss officials said it was held up only because of the need to work out details with the World Bank.

The Nigerian government had accused Abacha of creating a criminal organisation after his takeover in 1993 and plundering $2.2bn from state funds until his death of an apparent heart attack in 1998.

After he died, Swiss officials blocked about $730m in bank accounts in the country linked to Abacha and his associates. Some $216m has previously been returned to Nigeria.

The Nigerian government has been pushing, with some success, for the return of Abacha's looted funds from other countries, including Britain, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and Austria. Transparency International, the anti-corruption organisation, ranks Nigeria, the world's seventh largest exporter of oil, as the world's third-most corrupt country.

Banks in Switzerland have been told to start returning to Nigeria $290m (£158m) in funds seized from accounts linked to the late dictator Sani Abacha.

"The transfer became possible with the signing of an agreement with the World Bank to monitor Nigeria's use of the funds," said Livio Zanolari, a spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry.

The $290m was to be paid immediately to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Mr Zanolari said. The international bank will then credit it to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A second instalment of $170m will be made when assets have been converted to cash, said Mr Zanolari, but he said he did not know how long that would take. That second instalment will complete the payment of all the funds found in Switzerland, he said.

The money has been frozen in Swiss banks since 1999. The Swiss supreme court gave a green light for the return last February when it rejected an appeal by the Abacha family.

But the Swiss cabinet said it wanted the World Bank's involvement organised first to guarantee the money would go toward development projects in areas such as health, education and infrastructure, as promised by Nigeria.
The agreement with the World Bank has now been signed, Mr Zanolari said.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigarian President, accused Switzerland in May last year of stalling on the return of the funds, but Swiss officials said it was held up only because of the need to work out details with the World Bank.

The Nigerian government had accused Abacha of creating a criminal organisation after his takeover in 1993 and plundering $2.2bn from state funds until his death of an apparent heart attack in 1998.

After he died, Swiss officials blocked about $730m in bank accounts in the country linked to Abacha and his associates. Some $216m has previously been returned to Nigeria.

The Nigerian government has been pushing, with some success, for the return of Abacha's looted funds from other countries, including Britain, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and Austria. Transparency International, the anti-corruption organisation, ranks Nigeria, the world's seventh largest exporter of oil, as the world's third-most corrupt country.

No comments:

Post a Comment